Getting into a car accident is most people’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, is a nightmare that thousands of people find themselves caught in every single year. Most car accidents are caused by human error or misjudgment, but when it is you involved in it, that is a far from comforting notion.
Most of us know what it is we should do after an accident – swapping names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance details, taking photos of the scene, taking the details of any witnesses, seeking medical attention if appropriate and getting professional advice from somewhere like Oakland car accident lawyers. However, do you know what you should absolutely not do after a car accident?
Let’s take a look at some of these things.
Drive away from the scene of a car accident
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you only need to report a car accident if it’s a major one. Even if the damage is minimal, no one was hurt and you and the other driver are fine, then you still need to get in touch with the police and report it. Not doing so is a criminal offence. You also need to get the name and insurance details of the other driver to report the incident to your own insurance company.
Not call the police
As mentioned above, if you’ve been involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, you need to call the police. Not only will they be able to secure the scene, and prevent other cars from getting involved, but they’ll also create a police report of their findings and investigation which will help determine who was at fault. This vital document is crucial if you decide to pursue a personal injury case.
Lose your temper
Ok, so you weren’t at fault, and you’re cross at the other driver’s actions. Or maybe they’re being aggressive despite being in the wrong – the important thing here is to not lose your cool. Doing so could incite an aggressive or physical response from the other party. You also need to assess the situation for danger, injuries, and get all their information – blaming and shouting won’t help anything. Always ask them if they’re okay.
Even if we aren’t to blame, humans have a habit of apologising even in scenarios where an apology isn’t warranted – for example, for not moving your shopping trolley quick enough in the supermarket – so, after a car accident, you need to be extra careful not to apologise and inadvertently take the blame for the accident. You may also feel pressure to take the blame if the other party is being aggressive. If this is the case, refuse to speak about the accident and simply get their details. Call the police if you feel threatened. By admitting fault, you could jeopardise any insurance claim you make and be charged by the police.
It is always important to know what you should AND shouldn’t do if you are involved in a car accident.